Board Meeting Recap – April 30, 2013

Hello Everyone,

There were two big topics discussed and voted on at this meeting – a resolution to writing off nearly $400,000 in unpaid ambulance bills dating from 2008 – 2010 and an increase of two cents a gallon in the motor fuel tax.

Regarding the ambulance bills, the village previously employed a third party billing company to collect these debts.  They could not collect the debt and didn’t do what I personally would consider to be a satisfactory job in attempting to do it.  This has been confirmed by the increased collections achieved after this task was moved in-house as a function of the village.  $372,000 can pay for a large amount of village services, so it was extremely discouraging to officially book these unpaid fees.

The other news from this meeting was the vote to bump the motor fuel tax from two cents a gallon to four cents.  From my perspective, this was an unfortunate result of continued inefficient spending in other areas.  Why would a fiscal conservative such as myself agree to such a hike?  The simple answer is that I don’t want to sacrifice the basic services of the village in order to pay for the waste and inefficiency in other areas of the budget.  I prefer to tackle that wasteful spending head on.

One area that I consider to be wasteful spending is the payment of debt service (interest payments on borrowed money/bonds).  In order to avoid this, the village needs to be up front with residents regarding what all aspects of the services provided actually costs.  Unlike our water rate increases (which I intend to revisit), every dollar of this money is earmarked towards replacing fully depreciated equipment.  None of this equipment is ‘nice to have’.  It is all necessary to the basic functions of municipal services.

I voted against the recent property tax increase and oppose much of the water rate increases because they include too much unallocated spending along with what I consider to be excessive spending in inefficient areas.  This motor fuel tax is 100% earmarked, will go towards things the residents need and will eliminate the need for future borrowing, which would be much more expensive than this alternative.

It was the lesser of many evils.  Based on my personal gas consumption, this will cost me approximately 34 cents a week.  I hope to make that back on a per-resident basis many hundreds of times over by directly addressing and ending the inefficient spending.



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